Father’s Day – The boys bake pineapple pastry and an incredible story

pineapple pastry

On Thursday, I retold an amazing story I had read on news to the boys. It was about a 5 year old boy named Saroo who had gotten lost in a train in India, found his way to an adopted home in Australia, and then had used modern internet technology to find his birth mother back almost 26 years later.

An orphan herself, Saroo’s mother was pregnant a fourth time with her daughter when her husband decided to take another wife. Already poor, now she was left destitute with 4 kids – aged 7, 5, 3 and new born – to feed after the scumbag of a husband and father walked out on her.

The oldest, Guddu, all of 7 years, took to sweeping the trains (it’s not a paid job, it’s something poor street kids do and then passengers might or might not pay them out of pity) to feed himself and his 5 year old brother Saroo who would follow him around, like all little brothers do. They would hop from train to train, always coming back home in the evening.

One afternoon, after a long day at work, Saroo fell asleep on a Railway station bench, waiting for his brother to wake him up when it was time catch the train back home. When he woke up, he couldn’t find his brother. He saw a train standing on the station, thought Guddu was on it, and climbed aboard hoping to find him. After some futile search, the exhausted little kid simply fell asleep again on an empty seat, certain that his big brother would come back for him.

Saroo woke up some 14 hours later, to find himself alone in Calcutta (now Kolkata), the big beautiful bustling city teeming with millions of people, expansive architecturally rich buildings, never ending lanes, by-lanes, and all kinds of people going in every direction.

His mother, back home, became faint with worry. She lived for her kids, working hard, with no support, to take care of them. (Sadly, there is no social service, child support or Govt grants in India to help out such Mothers). With two of them disappearing in one swipe, her world fell apart. She traveled long distances, fighting hunger, molestation and battery hoping to find some news about her precious children. Her neighbors, poor as they were, helped her all they could. When all resources dried up, she started visiting wise men, saints and astrologers. One of them said, “One flower has fallen, the other is far away in the horizon, but he will find you. It will take a long time”.

3 Months later the poor mother found the body of her oldest son Guddu, hacked into two by a train.

Meanwhile, unaware that his brother was dead, Saroo was on the streets, trying to find a way back to his home. He didn’t know the name of his city, or anything about it. He might be young, but though petrified, he was smart, and he managed to keep himself safe. He kept his wits intact, and when common sense told him it was dangerous, he ran, even going to a point where he escaped two deceptively helpful men who might have been pedophiles. Fortunately, he was picked up by a kind soul, and placed in an orphanage.

And his fortune changed. A couple from Australia adopted him and took him all the way to Tasmania. He grew up to be a healthy, highly educated, happy young man. But he never forgot his mother or family. He never stopped looking.

Enter Google Earth. When Saroo, now Saroo Brierley, was researching his new house in Australia, he wondered if he could use it to find his hometown. All he remembered was a dam, and a waterfall. He mapped his journey, calculating the time traveled and speed of the train, and marked out an estimated area he could have traveled from. After a few years of hard work, he hit jackpot. He had finally found the town he had left so unwittingly 26 years earlier.

He flew to India, and the mother and son reunited. Isn’t it incredible? (*Another tissue*)

(I have put links to this incredible story at the end of my post).

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The story was beautiful and inspiring. But the Mom in me also wanted to find a moral in the story. My 9 year old is a fussy  eater, and I wanted to relate how good eating means health, height and good physique. Saroo had come back as a strapping young man, tall, dark, healthy, handsome. Saroo’s surviving brother is not as strong because he didn’t eat well (OK, I made that up, I haven’t seen Saroo’s brother) because Daddy had left them, and Mommy was too poor to feed him.

Now my hubby was listening to the story too. He chipped in, “Did you guys know only 17% of Americans celebrate Father’s Day while 60% celebrate Mother’s Day? Poor Dads.” Where did Mr GG get that number from? I have no clue. But I’m guessing all that talk of bad daddy and good Mom somehow got to him. Touche!

I was not surprised though. This man still keeps a bottle of baby lotion in his car we bought some 8 years ago, because it reminds him of the boys whenever he uses it. I have asked him to throw it away, it has to have gone bad, but he refuses. He has changed his car twice since, but the bottle always finds its way into the new car. This, from a man who hates junk and throws out anything that has not been in use for 3 months unless opposed fiercely.

So the Father’s Day this year had to be something special. I’m sure most of my Mom readers have amazingly imaginative boys who have great ideas on what they want to do on Father’s Day. The ideas from my boys sounded something like this:

“I think we should all watch a movie together on Netflix.” (Yeah! But we do it every other day.)

“How about we play the video game that I have been asking Dad to learn since January?” (I’m sure he will be thrilled.)

“I have another idea. Lets play Monopoly together and eat Mac.” (Monopoly and Mac ?? Seriously dude?)

What about presents? I ask.

“We can buy him a new video game”. ( He doesn’t play video games, so it might be a little inconvenient, I point out.)

So officially, they are out of ideas.

How about we bake him a special cake, make him a special card, and all of us take turns in giving him a spa treatment?

YES! The chorus was pretty loud.

“But you guys have to do most of the baking, else it won’t be special.” Some happy nods later, we made our plan. It was decided that they would make a card with crayon scratch technique. And then bake a cake.

Mr GG had to go to work on both days of the weekend due to some urgent ongoing work regarding a new product that is being introduced in the manufacturing facility he works in. Even when he is home, he is busy fielding calls, and checking constant emails. So we found plenty of time to squeeze in for our secret project. Saturday we had guests, so we couldn’t do much. Sunday morning he left for work at 6.30am, and I dragged the kids out of bed. Poor guys were all ready to give it a go, even when half asleep. They finished the card, and then we went to work on the cake. Mr GG was supposed to be back after lunch, so we wanted to be done by then.

Mr GG loves pineapple pastry. It’s not something we can find easily here. It was the perfect recipe. I do have a lovely recipe that I use, but I wanted something easier. I crawled the internet for 2-3 days to find a recipe that even the boys could work on, and finally found an awesome one here at Finger Licking Food(an amazing blog, love it. Namratha is crazily creative). The cake was a bit bready for my taste, but the end result tasted fabulous.

crayon art

The crayon scratch art.

Boys being boys

Innovative

Happy Dad

Continue to the finish

 

The best pastry ever!

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pineapple Pastry
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 1-1/2 cups self raising flour plus more for pans
  • 1 ¾ Cups Confectioner’s sugar (Powdered Sugar)
  • 4 Eggs (Room temperature)
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Filling and Frosting:
  • 1 ½ cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ½ cup Confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
For the syrup:
  • ½ cup pineapple syrup from can chilled
  • 1 tbsp Powdered sugar
  • ½ cup Ice-cold water
Instructions
  1. Preheat Oven to 350F
  2. Coat a 9" rectangular pan with butter and dust it with flour and keep it aside till ready to use.
  3. Separate eggs. Whip the yellow and the white separately (the yellow should not escape into white, else the cake will fall flat).
  4. Fold in the yellow into the white.
  5. Mix in the sugar and essence.
  6. Fold in the flour, making sure it's mixed in properly, about a minute on high).
  7. Pour into the baking pan.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes. It should rise nicely and look golden.
  9. Invert the cake on a cooling rack.
Frosting:
  1. Combine the cream, sugar and essence. Whip till it forms peaks.
Syrup:
  1. In a bowl, combine chilled syrup, sugar and ice cold water.
  2. Cut the cake neatly into two halves horizontally, slicing the top to give it an even base.
  3. Drizzle the syrup over both pieces of the cake, letting it soak and become moist.
Final touch
  1. Put a thin layer of cream on one half.
  2. Place the other half of the cake on top of the cream.
  3. Slather the whipped cream till it's covered well.
  4. Garnish with pineapple chunks.
  5. Slice into tall rectangular pieces and serve.

 

Mr GG was one happy man. Later on, the Father-son duo worked on another pet project – assembling a BBQ gas and charcoal grille that Mr GG bought for himself.

Look at those coordinated outfits (Not)

Dinner was a really creamy lobster meat fare, and Mr GG declared it as the best lobster curry I ever made. Wow! This post is already too long, so that recipe has to wait for its turn. The spa works is going into action next week.

Do you remember doing something funny and special for your Dads?

Links to Saroo’s story:

http://www.theage.com.au/world/little-boy-lost-a-25year-odyssey-20120323-1vp65.html

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/mother-son-separated-begin-25-year-global-search-229559

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-17772157

http://www.the-press-news.com/ap%20international/2012/06/06/25-year-global-hunt-reunites-mother-and-son

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/11/saroo-brierley-fatima-munshi-reunited_n_1586174.html

https://www.facebook.com/saroobrierley

19 comments for “Father’s Day – The boys bake pineapple pastry and an incredible story

  1. June 18, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    What a lovely story with some pretty horrible bits in it. Poor kid who got killed by the train and can you imagine being a little kid lost in a city the size of Kolkata?

    Our kids don’t realize how lucky they are.

    They are really cute in those photos of them making dad’s cake.
    Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef recently posted..Beef Stroganoff Walter StyleMy Profile

    • June 18, 2012 at 10:35 PM

      I read this story a couple of months back, and it has stayed with me. The realities that I have seen when growing up in India…it always manages to twist something inside everyday, until your somehow become desensitized to it all – survival instinct?

      Kolkata is overwhelming even when you are an adult. I can’t imagine how it must have been for a little kid who didn’t even understand the language spoken…..
      Minnie recently posted..Father’s Day – The boys bake pineapple pastry and an incredible storyMy Profile

  2. June 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Nice :)

  3. June 19, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    What a sweet idea! I had no idea that there was such a difference with mothers and fathers day celebrations. Poor dads! It’s like weddings where the bride is the focus rather than the groom. Poor guys don’t stand a chance. Unless they are lucky enough to know you! :)
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella recently posted..Red Lantern On Riley, East SydneyMy Profile

    • June 19, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      I had no clue either, hahahaha!! Could be because we women make such a big deal out of it? Take the case of your book for example. How many books do you think would be positioned to be released around Father’s Day? I would like to know the numbers, hehehe!

  4. June 19, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Aww what a great Father’s Day! That statistic makes me feel a little guilty because our family didn’t actually do much celebrating on Father’s Day. We (mostly my dad) spent the better part of the day driving from florida to NC. Although the cruise was a great father’s day present, so I don’t feel too awful :)
    Erin {Recimplicity} recently posted..Cruisin’ Summer 2012: Life OnboardMy Profile

    • June 19, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Erin, so good to see you! Your cruise sounds super fun!

  5. Pam
    June 19, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    What a story!!! The dessert looks wonderful.
    Pam recently posted..Salmon with Garlic, Lemon, and DillMy Profile

    • June 19, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Thanks so much Pam :)

  6. Millie
    June 19, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Very touching story indeed! I am going to re-tell the story to my kids :)
    Father’s day is celebrated in September in Australia so will get the kids to cook something for their dad. Neel will be amazed definitely. Thanks for sharing the idea :)

    • June 19, 2012 at 11:33 PM

      Millie!!!! XOXO So so good to see you here!! Call me when you can, or email me when should I call you. I have loads to share.

  7. June 19, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Congrats my friend, I have awarded you the much deserved Versatile Blogger Award :D
    Check it out here: http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/i-love-thee-microwaves/

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..I Love Thee, Microwaves!My Profile

    • June 19, 2012 at 11:42 PM

      Really!! Oh wow! Thank you so much Uru, I’m honoured!

  8. June 20, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    That’s an unbelievable story and so sad. How awful that their circumstances were so dire that the boys were working at such a young age. And that poor mother to have lost both her boys and then to find one had died a horrible death and the disappearance of the other. It’s a story that would make a great movie and I’m so glad the story has a happy ending. It can only be a miracle that the boy who grew up in Tasmania managed to find his mother. Lovely looking cake – so light, colourful and creamy xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..‘Stop Hunger, Start Cooking’ CookbookMy Profile

    • June 20, 2012 at 10:06 AM

      I so agree Charlie.I would love to see this movie. Goes to prove fact can stranger and more real than fiction any day.I had watched another movie last year – Entre Nos -based on a very similar true story. I can’t imagine how many little kids around the world are forced into such situations.

      I’m so glad you were able to post :)

  9. June 20, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    OMG … I got goosebumps reading Saroo’s story … Love your food story, too and your family pics look so cute :-)
    CJ at Food Stories recently posted..Cherry Frangipane TartMy Profile

  10. June 20, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Thank you CJ!! That’s big compliment coming from you. Made my day!
    Minnie recently posted..Mushroom bell pepper curry – a nutritional gold mineMy Profile

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